Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football: Post-hype draft values worth another shot after disappointing seasons

Fantasy Football: Post-hype draft values worth another shot after disappointing seasons

Trevor Lawrence could end up being a fantasy football value with how late he’s going in drafts this season. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Fantasy football managers can have very short memories, especially when it comes to players who underperform compared to their draft expectations. Taking advantage of values that present themselves due to negative public perception is a beneficial part of the fantasy draft season.

This article highlights some of those players experiencing a dip in perceived value, in part thanks to recency bias from their 2023 campaigns.

  • 2024 ADP: 128.9, QB22

While his QB13 finish was a letdown compared to expectations, Trevor Lawrence showed what we were all hoping he would be for fantasy purposes from Week 11 on, as he went from the QB22 in fantasy points per game among guys with at least four starts in Weeks 1-10, to the QB6 in that same category for the final seven contests of 2023. And that was without Christian Kirk for five of those games.

The fourth-year signal-caller has the skill to be an elite fantasy asset including a solid arm and some wheels, and this year he gets fresh weaponry in rookie Brian Thomas Jr. and Gabe Davis, plus a healthy Christian Kirk. Lawrence is being drafted as the QB22 but has top 5-8 upside if he can remain consistent in 2024.

  • 2024 ADP: 60.0, RB20

It was a rough finish for Rhamondre Stevenson as the RB30 in half-PPR points per contest last year, as he averaged just 51.6 yards on the ground and 19.8 receiving yards in the 12 games he played. Ezekiel Elliott has been replaced with Antonio Gibson in an offense devoid of big playmakers, so there’s a chance Stevenson bounces back to be the zero-RB hero we all wanted in 2023.

The good news is that instead of a third-round pick, he’s currently costing drafters a fifth- or sixth-round pick and in a contract year, has the potential to outproduce his current low-end RB2 status.

  • 2024 ADP: 130.2, RB42

Seattle was a run-first and run-often team under Pete Carroll, but last year Zach Charbonnet was used in more of a complementary role than anticipated during fantasy draft season. Charbonnet ended as the RB56 in half-PPR scoring on a per-game basis, but in the contests that he was in on at least 61% of the snaps (Weeks 11-13), the rookie saw 19.7 touches per game which was sixth among RBs, translating to 9.7 half-PPR points per tilt which was RB24 in that time frame.

With a new coaching staff in place, it’s a wait-and-see situation on how run-heavy the Seahawks will be, but we have to assume that Charbonnet will get more work and post better numbers in 2024 than his current draft stock indicates.

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  • 2024 ADP: 94.2, WR35

It wasn’t a full disappointment of a season for Calvin Ridley in his one year as a Jaguar, as Ridley boasted a 22.5% target share and was fourth in the NFL in red-zone targets, but it didn’t quite translate to his projected production. Ridley’s WR26 finish in half-PPR points per game (11.3) landed him as a fantasy WR2, instead of his WR1 expectations.

Now a member of the Tennessee Titans, he is part of a potentially more pass-heavy offense under new HC Brian Callahan, who also stated that Ridley’s role will be “very similar” to Ja’Marr Chase’s for the Bengals. That could be huge for his fantasy outlook, as Ridley would run more slot and intermediate routes compared to the mostly longer, low-percentage stuff he saw from Trevor Lawrence.

  • 2024 ADP: 128.9, WR50

JSN got off to a slow start in his rookie season thanks to a wrist injury, but after Seattle’s Week 5 bye, he averaged 8.2 half-PPR points per game as the overall WR40 in that time frame. He is poised for a sophomore surge in what should be a more pass-centric offense under new Seahawks’ OC Ryan Grubb, plus an aging Tyler Lockett doesn't hurt his situation.

  • 2024 ADP: 128.1, WR48

Williams only played in six contests during his rookie campaign after coming off a knee injury he suffered in the NCAA title game in 2022, but the hype was there, and he was still drafted in most platforms as a WR6, yet ended with just 2.4 half-PPR points per contest as the WR135 in that category. Last year, the Detroit WR started out serving a suspension for gambling, which was originally six contests, then got reduced, and he was able to rejoin the team in Week 5. Williams was eased in slowly, and inconsistencies prevented him from becoming a reliable fantasy asset.

This year we’ve seen Lions HC Dan Campbell label Williams as a “man on a mission” and the most improved, and he’ll have less competition for deep balls with Josh Reynolds no longer on the Detroit roster. Plus, as an added bonus, the Lions play 14 of their 17 contests in domed stadiums in 2024, which could help with wind on those downfield balls.

  • 2024 CER: 142.7, WR58

Coming off a promising rookie campaign as the WR39 in half-PPR points per contest, Jahan Dotson was set up for a breakout year in 2023 with Eric Bienemy calling the plays, but he sadly fell short, posting just 518 yards on 49 receptions with an underwhelming 10.6 yards per reception. Curtis Samuel is now in Buffalo, leaving plenty of volume for Dotson behind Terry McLaurin. There's also a new coaching regime along with a fresh, very talented QB under center in Jayden Daniels.

With presumably enhanced QB play Dotson should see more chances for both volume and scoring opportunity, and he could end up being a bargain at his current draft capital.

More analysis from 4for4: Do defenses repeat fantasy performances?

This article was originally published on 4for4.com

A proud alumna of the UGA Grady College of Journalism, Jennifer Eakins has been working in the sports industry for well over a decade. She has had stints with CNN Sports, the Atlanta Hawks and the Colorado Rockies. Her first fantasy football draft took place in 1996 where she selected Ricky Watters with the first overall pick, and she has been a fantasy degenerate ever since.

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